Lead exposure and the central auditory processing abilities and cognitive development of urban children: the Cincinnati Lead Study cohort at age 5 years

Neurotoxicol Teratol. Jan-Feb 1992;14(1):51-6. doi: 10.1016/0892-0362(92)90028-9.


This analysis examined the relationship between lead exposure as registered in whole blood (PbB) and the central auditory processing abilities and cognitive developmental status of the Cincinnati cohort (N = 259) at age 5 years. Although the effects were small, higher prenatal, neonatal, and postnatal PbB levels were associated with poorer central auditory processing abilities on the Filtered Word Subtest of the SCAN (a screening test for auditory processing disorders). Higher postnatal PbB levels were associated with poorer performance on all cognitive developmental subscales of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC). However, following adjustment for measures of the home environment and maternal intelligence, few statistically or near statistically significant associations remained. Our findings are discussed in the context of the related issues of confounding and the detection of weak associations in high risk populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders / chemically induced
  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders / epidemiology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / blood
  • Lead Poisoning / physiopathology*
  • Lead Poisoning / psychology
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Urban Health*